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Corporate and Public Communication Program

Program Description

The College of Applied Studies offers a terminal Master's degree for graduate students currently employed in or seeking professional positions emphasizing public affairs, public information, and public issues management within business, government, not-for-profit organizations, or educational institutions. By the conclusion of the master's program, students will be competent in select areas of organizational and marketing communication. Students may also combine the bachelor program in Professional Communication with the graduate degree.


Program goals

  • Preparing students for professional careers within business, government, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions
  • Providing students with experience in making formal communication presentations
  • Helping students develop quantitative and qualitative skills in organizational communication contexts and
  • Equipping students with basic knowledge of communication theories with particular emphasis on those that apply to corporate and public affairs, public information, and issue management

Skills to be developed

  • The ability to successfully plan and implement marketing, advertising or public relations campaigns
  • The ability to successfully resolve conflicts
  • The ability to successfully manage individuals and crises
  • The ability to find in any case the available means of persuasion
  • The ability to analyze the content of various messages
  • The ability to perform computer-mediated, social scientific communication research

Program faculty

Laurie Lawrence, PhD
Holley A-111-K

Brian Parker, PhD
Program Coordinator
Holley A-111-M
(850) 770-2295

Abigail Reed, PhD
Holley A-111-K
(850) 770-2298

Nicholas Sellers, PhD
Holley A-111M
(850) 770-2299

Graduate Admissions

The GRE is waived for all fall, spring, and summer 2022 graduate programs

Application Deadlines

  • Fall admission – July 1st
  • Spring admission – November 1st
  • Summer admission – March 1st

University Application Requirements

All applicants for the Corporate and Public Communication master’s program must meet both university and departmental requirements.
Florida State University Graduate Admission Requirements

  1. Complete and submit the University Admissions Office's Online Application Form
  2. Pay a non-refundable application fee of $30. Application packets will not be reviewed until the fee has been paid.
  3. Submit a completed Residency Affidavit. All applicants must submit this form, which is completed online.
  4. Arrange for an official transcript from each college or university attended to be sent to the Office of Admissions. Transcripts may be sent digitally but must come directly from the institutions attended. An unofficial transcript may be uploaded for the College of Applied Studies for review.
  5. Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and request scores to be sent to FSU. You must take the new GRE test, which contains verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. Go to the Educational Testing Service Web site for more information. 

The Corporate and Public Communication Program provides a GRE waiver for applicants that meet requirements. Use the provided link below in the program requirements for the waiver request form.


Corporate and Public Communication Graduate Admission Requirements

In addition to the university requirements, CPC program applicants must meet the program requirements listed below. A separate program application is not required. The university application specifies the program to which you are applying. Documents are submitted with your online university application. 

FSU and the Corporate and Public Communication program applies a holistic approach to the application review process. Consideration is given to all application components including GPA, GRE scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, writing sample, related experiences, and record of preparation. 

Applicants that meet the following requirements will be considered for the program but are not guaranteed admission. Admission decisions will be provided through the FSU application portal or by notification from the graduate program faculty or staff.

  1. A minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) undergraduate academic record from accredited universities. 
  2. Official Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores. A typical combined (verbal and quantitative) score for CPC applicants is at least a 285. When registering for the GRE, you must select a location code to send the scores. This code is 5219. 
  3. In your FSU application, applicants should submit a self-authored, original, personal statement addressing their interest and fit for this program. This statement will be evaluated for its style, clarity of purpose, organization, grammar, and development of ideas. In the personal statement, all applicants should ensure an answer to at least these questions:
    1. Why have you chosen to apply to this master's program?
    2. What are your career goals and how does this program help you meet them? 
    3. Describe your academic and applied professional/organizational experiences that make you a strong candidate for this program (make sure to address both academic and applied experiences)
    4. What do you plan to do upon graduation to utilize this degree in your career?
    5. *Personal statements should be well-proofread, answer all questions above, be 2-3 pages in length, and include double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  4. A resume or curriculum vitae, which is carefully proofread, professional in nature, and outlines all related academic and professional experiences relevant to this program.
  5. A writing sample. Applicants must submit/upload a writing sample to demonstrate your writing ability to the admission committee.
  • This writing sample should be an original, self-authored 5-10 page paper. Topics can vary and the paper will be evaluated for clarity of expression, writing style, use of format, and potential for graduate-level writing. Examples can include a research paper from an undergraduate course (written by the applicant), professional report, executive summary as part of applied experience, project proposals, or other example of writing that applicants feel demonstrate their writing potential for success in graduate school.
  • We prefer this sample to be a sole-authored sample by the applicant, if an applicant wants to submit a co-authored sample, please include a description of your contributions to the sample.

GRE Waiver – Corporate and Public Communication

To be considered for a GRE Waiver you must complete the form and provide the requested supporting documentation using our online portal.

International students

It is strongly recommended that international candidates submit applications early because it takes extra time to process international documents. Meeting early deadlines and additional requirements will facilitate the application review process. 

More information

Questions about University Admissions Requirements:

Questions about Corporate and Public Communication Requirements:

  • Cristina Doan, Academic Program Specialist,, (850) 770-2148 

Questions about the CPC Graduate Program:

  • Brian Parker, Program Coordinator,, (850) 770-2295, 4750 Collegiate Drive, Panama City, FL 32405, Holley Building A111-E

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (MS) in Corporate and Public Communication 
This program requires a minimum of thirty-three (33) hours of coursework plus a comprehensive exam. It is possible to complete the program in as few as two years if some coursework is completed during summer sessions. All courses must be passed with a “B-” grade or better and students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout enrollment in the program. The program requires students to take:  

  • Six (6) hours of course work in Theory and Principles,
  • Six (6) hours of course work in Research and Methods,
  • Nine (9) hours of course work in Applications,
  • Twelve (12) additional hours of approved Communication and outside courses (no more than 2 classes outside of the Communication major may be taken)
  • A Comprehensive Examination

Students must complete a minimum of thirty-three (33) course hours, of which students must complete 30 hours of graduate-level coursework (5000 level and above). Twenty-seven (27) hours must be letter-graded.

Students who have completed insufficient course work in Communication at the undergraduate level (e.g. students who did not major in a communication-related area) may be required to take up to nine additional hours of letter-graded undergraduate course work as determined by their graduate advisors. Note: These additional hours will not count toward completion of the thirty-three (33) graduate-level semester hours.

Master of Arts (MA) in Corporate and Public Communication
This program requires the same minimum thirty-three (33) hours and grade point average requirements as the Master of Science. However, these students must complete six (6) or more semester hours of graduate credit in humanities courses. They must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, which may be accomplished in any of the following ways: 

  • Certification of proficiency by the appropriate FSU language department 
  • Twelve (12) semester hours in a foreign language in a college or university with an earned average of 3.0 in those courses 
  • Four (4) years of a single language in high school

Theory and Principles (6 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5409 (3) Burke & Communication Theory

And at least one of the following:

  • COM 6403r (3) Advanced Problems: Integrated Marketing Communication
  • MMC 5600 (3) Mass Communication Theory and Effects
  • SPC 5545 (3) Studies in Persuasion

Research and Methods (6 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5127 (3) Assessing Organizational Communication*
  • COM 5316 (3) Statistical Methods in Communication Research*

Applications (9 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5526 (3) Marketing Communication Management
  • SPC 5442 (3) Group Dynamics and Leadership

And at least one of the following:

  • SPC 6920 (3) Colloquium: Training and Consulting
  • COM 5469 (3) Communication Planning & Dispute Resolution

Comprehensive Exam (0 CREDITS)

COM 8966c Master’s Comprehensive Examination*
*Students enrolled in this program will be required to pass a comprehensive examination covering course work and assigned readings

Students registered for zero semester hour graduate level courses and additional courses will not be charged for the zero credit hour course. When registering for a zero credit hour course only, the student will be charged for one semester hour at the Florida Resident tuition-rate of the course level.

Total Minimum credit hour requirements 33

Course Sequence


  • COM 5127 Assessing Organizational Com REQUIRED
  • MMC 5600 Mass Communication Theory & Effects (ODD YEARS—Either this or SPC 5545 REQUIRED)
  • SPC 5545 Persuasion (EVEN YEARS—Either this or MMC 5600 REQUIRED)
  • SPC 5442 Group Dynamics & Leadership REQUIRED


  • COM 5526 Marketing Com Management (EXCEPT S16) REQUIRED
  • COM 5126 Organizational Communication Theory and Practice (S16) REQUIRED
  • COM 5316 Statistical Methods in Communication Research REQUIRED
  • COM 5469 Communication Planning and Dispute Resolution (EVEN YRS) This, SPC 6920, or ADV 5503 REQ.
  • SPC 6920 Colloquium in Speech Communication: Training and Consult (ODD YRS) This, COM 5469, or ADV 5503 REQ.


  • COM 5409 Burke & Communication Theory. REQUIRED
  • RTV 5423 New Communication Technology: Theory & Research OPTIONAL

Combined BS/MS Professional Communication Program

Courses taken for undergraduate credit do not count toward a graduate degree, unless the courses are in Communication at the 5000 level or above and are taken after being accepted into the BS/MS program. (There is no blanket approval to substitute courses. Any course substitutions must be approved by all members of your committee BEFORE substituting).

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